Sometimes, we can become complacent and comfortable in our job without thinking about how that can affect our careers in the long term. Maybe you get the feeling that your current role isn’t fulfilling your long-term professional goals, or maybe it doesn’t quite meet your financial needs. Whatever the reason, it’s time to take a step back and look at those red flags. Are your complaints easy to resolve? Or is there a bigger problem at hand? There may be several good reasons you choose to stay in your current role, but here are some surefire things to look out for that may make you consider looking for a new job.
1. You Know Your Career Path Is a Dead-End
Do you feel like you’re not going anywhere in your current job and don’t have any hope of doing so in the future? Perhaps you and your boss do not see eye to eye or there’s simply no room for advancement.
Before you put in your two-weeks’ notice, consider all the options. There may be a miscommunication between you and your team or your boss. Take some time to meet with those you have strained relationships with. See if you can come up with a plan on how to work through the differences. Alternatively, your boss may provide some insight into the things going on in the business that you aren’t privy to, and that may provide some perspective. Make sure you have exhausted your options before you leave your role completely.
If you still think it’s best to leave your current role, make sure you look for companies with a lot of room for upward growth. Don’t be afraid to ask in the interview what your role could look like in two years, five years and beyond. Not only will you get a better gauge for your career path, but you’ll demonstrate your desire for a long-term role.
2. Staffing Shows Signs of Trouble
Trying to predict layoffs can be difficult. Company executives often intentionally keep them a secret so that people don’t start leaving in advance of the actual layoff action. But if you pay attention to what’s going on around you, you may be able to see the writing on the wall. Has the company recently released all contractors and started cutting costs? Has your company held off promotions or gone on a hiring freezes recently? Is workload in your business unit starting to decrease whileyou still have the same number of heads? This is called idle capacity and may trigger a layoff.
Unfortunately, even if you are able to keep your role, you may be expected to increase your workload substantially to make up for the losses (and that doesn’t even guarantee your security).
If you love your job or your company and would like to stick it out, you don’t have to abandon ship quite yet. Take the time to update your resume, ensure you have a three-month’s salary in savings and reach out to a recruiter to hear about your options. That way, if there comes a time you choose to quit or are forced to leave, you have a contingency plan in place.
3. You’re Miserable Every Day
Sometimes, doing a job just isn’t worth it. When your mental health or work/life balance are compromised, it is not worth toughing it out (even if the role is high paying). Your happiness and the happiness of your family is far more important than your salary. Stress is terrible on you mentally and physically, and it’s not great for your relationships either.
If your day-to-day struggle is too much, take some time to figure out if any of your stress points can be remedied. Can you take some time at lunch to meditate and relax? Could you adjust your hours to better fit your schedule? Whatever it is, see if there is a solution in your current role — it may be something that you end up carrying over to your new one, and no progress is made. If you know that the challenge you face is insurmountable, you may want to look into a new role. When you interview, make sure you get a good understanding of company culture and whether they often support in the area you need.
4. You Aren’t Gaining Anything
There may be room to move up in your company, but without the proper tools to achieve it, you’re stuck. If you feel like you are not gaining any new marketable new skills or honing the skills that got you hired, it may be time to leave. Reach out to your boss and see if there are resources available to keep your skill set sharp. Seek out conferences, webinars and more. Hopefully, they will respect the initiative you’re taking to grow and become a stronger asset to the company. If, however, your company declines the opportunity, they may not be willing to invest in you and your development. You may need to reconsider your commitment, as it seems they may not be as committed to you.
5. The Grass IS Greener
The old saying that “the grass is always greener on the other side” may be relevant to your situation. Oftentimes, people jump jobs only to find out they’re disappointed by the move or things aren’t what they expected. However, depending on your workplace, it’s possible that anything is better than your current situation. If you have simply lost connection to your work or those around you, it may be time to move on. You understand your needs better than anyone else, and if you are bored and unmotivated every day, you may just need a chance at a new opportunity. Make a pros and cons list of a new role to help flesh out whether that’s what you truly want, or if you just want a new opportunity with your current company/employer.